A familiar figure took an unfamiliar route to the field at Fenway Park on Friday night.
Roughly two hours before game time, former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester and his family made their way through the grandstand to come onto the field for a visit with friends during batting practice. Lester — enjoying his first season of retirement — accompanied his wife, Farrah, and their three children to catch up with Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo as well as members of the Red Sox organization, including assistant GM Raquel Ferreira.
It wasn’t Lester’s first visit to Fenway as a spectator.
“This is actually the first big league stadium I came to as a kid,” said Lester. “So beyond just playing, it’s been a pretty significant place for me.”
Still, a return to Fenway hadn’t been top-of-mind for Lester after he announced his retirement in January. He’s been enjoying life in Georgia — he noted that he’s carpooling to get his sons to football practices, with school soon to start — with little engagement with baseball.
“I kind of separated from all of it,” said Lester.
But his wife suggested a trip to Fenway for a Red Sox-Yankees game so that they could catch up with Rizzo, and their kids — particularly 12-year-old Hudson, whose fourth birthday party occurred on July 31, 2014, the same day Lester was traded to the A’s — could enjoy the setting. And so citizen Lester arrived at the park, carrying bags of merchandise purchased for his kids before taking in Friday’s game in a suite.
He suggested that he’d been able to maneuver through the park with little fanfare.
“I’ve always been kind of able to hang under the radar,” he said. “It’s been good.”